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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 19, Iss. 26 — Dec. 12, 2011
  • pp: B399–B405
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Cost optimization of optical in-building networks

A. M. J. Koonen, H. P. A. van den Boom, E. Ortego Martinez, A. Pizzinat, Ph. Guignard, B. Lannoo, C. M. Okonkwo, and E. Tangdiongga  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 19, Issue 26, pp. B399-B405 (2011)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.19.00B399


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Abstract

Optical fiber-based in-building network solutions can outperform in the near future copper- and radio-based solutions both regarding performance and costs. POF solutions are maturing, and can already today be cheaper than Cat-5e solutions when ducts are shared with electricity power cabling. We compare the CapEx and OpEx of in-building networks for fiber and Cat-5E solutions. For residential homes, our analysis shows that total network costs during economic lifetime are lowest for a point-to-point duplex POF topology.

© 2011 OSA

1. Introduction

2. CapEx and OpEx analysis model

3. Network costs analysis results

Using the analysis tools above, the network installation costs (CapEx) per room for a P2P topology are found to increase monotonically with the number of rooms, due to the increasing average cable lengths and duct sizes. For P2MP topologies, the CapEx per room initially decreases as the sharing factor of the common network parts increases, but for larger room numbers it increases again as the average cable and duct length start to dominate [8

8. A. M. J. Koonen, H. P. A. van den Boom, E. Tangdiongga, H.-D. Jung, and P. Guignard, “Designing in-building optical fiber networks,” in Proc. of Optical Fiber Communication Conf. and National Fiber Optic Engineers Conf., San Diego, paper JThA46 (2010).

]. Hence for a small building (such as a residential home) a P2P architecture is attractive, also given its simplicity and easy upgradability. Figure 3(a)
Fig. 3 Residential home with M = 3 floors and N = 4 rooms/floor, H = 3.3m, L = 8m; for P2P architecture, with duct sharing for the fiber solutions.
shows the CapEx breakdown per room for a typical residential home (M = 3, N = 4) with a P2P topology, using buried ducts (the costs are marginally lower for on-the-wall mounted ducts). For the fiber solutions, duct costs are saved by putting the fibers in the existing ducts of the electricity power wiring (duct sharing); note that this is not allowed for Cat-5E solutions for safety reasons.

A major contributor to the OpEx is the electrical power consumption of the active network elements, which are always-on. We have analyzed the power consumption in the active network elements: in the switches/hubs in the network nodes, and in the media converters (the opto-electronic transceivers). For the residential home, we find that the P2P topology is the most power-efficient, as it avoids power-consuming network nodes. As shown in Fig. 3(b), the POF P2P solution consumes slightly more power than the Cat-5E one, but clearly less than the silica fiber (SMF, MMF) solutions. For the P2MP topologies preferred for larger buildings, a tree topology has less active elements than a bus one, and thus a somewhat lower power consumption. Taking into account the issues with duct sharing for the tree topology, however, the bus topology remains the preferred one for larger buildings. Figure 4(b) shows, similarly as Fig. 3(b), that the POF solution is the preferred fiber solution, with only slightly higher power consumption than the Cat-5E solution.

4. Evolution of overall network costs

In order to make a well-justified decision about which in-building network topology and cable medium to install, it is necessary to consider both CapEx and OpEx, and how these will evolve in the future. The power consumption is a major factor contributing to the OpEx. Hence, based on the above-mentioned results, we have calculated the energy costs over the economic lifetime of the network (for which we assumed 25 years). In order to assess the future evolution of the total network costs, these costs may be divided into three categories:

  • - Labour costs: related to installation works in the network (ducts, cables, network devices, connectors); these may increase following the inflation of money.
  • - Material costs: related to the network items. For non-mature products (the POF solutions), these costs may decrease remarkably in the future, as their market volume grows and production gets more efficient. For mature products (the Cat-5E solutions), the costs may slightly increase following the money inflation, or increase more significantly as the basic material (copper) gets scarce.
  • - Energy costs: related to the power consumption of the active network devices and media converters. These costs will rise with the money inflation, and even stronger due to the rising prices of primary energy sources (oil, gas, coal) and rising (CO2-related) taxes.

The impact of money inflation may be taken out of the equation by considering the Net Present Value (NPV). For assessing the evolution of CapEx, a breakdown of the costs per installed network item into labour costs and material costs is needed; we estimated this breakdown according to Table 4

Table 4. Breakdown of CapEx per installed network item

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.We assumed that money inflation will be 2% per year, labour costs will follow inflation, prices of POF products (cable, transceiver, connector) will go down with increasing market volume by 10% per year, prices of Cat-5E products (which are mature and of which market volume has stabilized) will follow inflation, but prices of Cat-5E cable will increase with 5% per year due to copper scarcity, and energy prices will increase with 5% per year.

Based on these assumptions, the NPV of the total network costs per room for a residential home with P2P topology when the network is installed in year n (n = 1..11) are shown in Figs. 5(a)
Fig. 5 Evolution of NPV of total network costs (CapEx + OpEx) for a residential home, during its economic lifetime of 25 years, when installing the network with a P2P topology in year n (n = 1,2, …, 11).
5(c). For the Cat-5E solution, the total network costs over the 25 year lifetime increase due to the rising energy costs, and rising copper cable costs. Note that the impact of inflation is eliminated by using the NPV of the costs; hence the labour costs and the other material costs stay constant. For the duplex POF solution, the total network costs decrease due to decreasing cable costs, which clearly outweigh the rising energy costs. When using duct sharing, labour costs are saved, thus decreasing network costs even further. Figure 5(d) compares the evolution of total network costs: when installing a home network today (i.e. in year 1) and duct sharing can be applied, the lifetime costs of a duplex POF network are the lowest. When duct sharing is not possible, Cat-5E is today the cheapest solution, but in the future (7 years from now) it becomes economically more attractive to install duplex POF.

5. Conclusions

Both CapEx and OpEx including their evolution during the network’s economic lifetime have to be taken into account when deciding which topology and cable medium is economically preferable for an in-building network. For a typical in-home network, based on realistic cost trend forecasts, our analysis shows that the total lifetime network costs (CapEx + OpEx) of a P2P network which uses duplex POF and which shares the ducts with electrical power cabling, are today already lower than a network which uses Cat-5E cabling. When not using duct sharing, the duplex POF P2P solution will outperform the Cat-5E solution in a few years from now.

Acknowledgments

Partial funding of this work by the European Commission in the FP7 projects ALPHA, POF-PLUS and BONE, and by the Dutch Ministry of EL&I in the IOP GenCom project MEANS, is gratefully acknowledged.

References and links

1.

W. Rollins and A. Mallya, “Options for current & future POF home networks,” http://www.comoss.com/press/1000_Rollins_ATT.pdf (2010).

2.

F. Richard, Ph. Guignard, A. Pizzinat, L. Guillo, J. Guillory, B. Charbonnier, A. M. J. Koonen, E. Ortego Martinez, E. Tanguy, and H. W. Li, “Optical home network based on an NxN multimode fiber architecture and CWDM technology,” in Proc. of Optical Fiber Communication Conf. and National Fiber Optic Engineers Conf., Los Angeles, paper JWA80 (2011).

3.

A. M. J. Koonen and D. Novak, (organisers), “Beyond the doorstep – can fiber also invade the home?” in Optical Fiber Communication Conf. and National Fiber Optic Engineers Conf., San Diego, Workshop OMB (2010).

4.

P. Polishuk, “Plastic optical fibers branch out,” IEEE Commun. Mag. 44(9), 140–148 (2006). [CrossRef]

5.

S. Randel, F. Breyer, S. C. J. Lee, and J. W. Walewski, “Advanced modulation schemes for short-range optical communications,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 16(5), 1280–1289 (2010). [CrossRef]

6.

C. M. Okonkwo, E. Tangdiongga, H. Yang, D. Visani, S. Loquai, R. Kruglov, B. Charbonnier, M. Ouzzif, I. Greiss, O. Ziemann, R. Gaudino, and A. M. J. Koonen, “Recent Results from the EU POF-PLUS Project: Multi-Gigabit Transmission over 1 mm Core Diameter Plastic Optical Fibers,” J. Lightwave Technol. 29(2), 186–193 (2011). [CrossRef]

7.

E. Tangdiongga, C. M. Okonkwo, Y. Shi, D. Visani, H. Yang, H. P. A. van den Boom, and A. M. J. Koonen, “High-speed short-range transmission over POF,” in Proc. of Optical Fiber Communication Conf. and National Fiber Optic Engineers Conf., paper OWS5 (2011).

8.

A. M. J. Koonen, H. P. A. van den Boom, E. Tangdiongga, H.-D. Jung, and P. Guignard, “Designing in-building optical fiber networks,” in Proc. of Optical Fiber Communication Conf. and National Fiber Optic Engineers Conf., San Diego, paper JThA46 (2010).

9.

B. Lannoo, K. Casier, M. Gheeraert, J. Van Ooteghem, S. Verbrugge, D. Colle, M. Pickavet, and P. Demeester, “Selecting the most suitable next-generation in-building network: from copper-based to optical solutions,” in Proc. 13th Internat. Conf. on Transparent Optical Networks, Stockholm, paper Tu.C5.5 (2011).

10.

A. M. J. Koonen, H. P. A. van den Boom, H. Yang, C. Okonkwo, Y. Shi, S. T. Abraha, E. Ortego Martinez, and E. Tangdiongga, “Converged in-building networks using POF – economics and advanced techniques,” in Proc. 19th Internat. Conf. on Plastic Optical Fibers, Yokohama (2010).

11.

European FP7 project ALPHA - Architectures for fLexible Photonic Home and Access networks, http://www.ict-alpha.eu/.

OCIS Codes
(060.2330) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber optics communications
(060.4256) Fiber optics and optical communications : Networks, network optimization

ToC Category:
Access Networks and LAN

History
Original Manuscript: September 30, 2011
Revised Manuscript: November 4, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: November 5, 2011
Published: November 21, 2011

Virtual Issues
European Conference on Optical Communication 2011 (2011) Optics Express

Citation
A. M. J. Koonen, H. P. A. van den Boom, E. Ortego Martinez, A. Pizzinat, Ph. Guignard, B. Lannoo, C. M. Okonkwo, and E. Tangdiongga, "Cost optimization of optical in-building networks," Opt. Express 19, B399-B405 (2011)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-19-26-B399


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References

  1. W. Rollins and A. Mallya, “Options for current & future POF home networks,” http://www.comoss.com/press/1000_Rollins_ATT.pdf (2010).
  2. F. Richard, Ph. Guignard, A. Pizzinat, L. Guillo, J. Guillory, B. Charbonnier, A. M. J. Koonen, E. Ortego Martinez, E. Tanguy, and H. W. Li, “Optical home network based on an NxN multimode fiber architecture and CWDM technology,” in Proc. of Optical Fiber Communication Conf. and National Fiber Optic Engineers Conf., Los Angeles, paper JWA80 (2011).
  3. A. M. J. Koonen and D. Novak, (organisers), “Beyond the doorstep – can fiber also invade the home?” in Optical Fiber Communication Conf. and National Fiber Optic Engineers Conf., San Diego, Workshop OMB (2010).
  4. P. Polishuk, “Plastic optical fibers branch out,” IEEE Commun. Mag.44(9), 140–148 (2006). [CrossRef]
  5. S. Randel, F. Breyer, S. C. J. Lee, and J. W. Walewski, “Advanced modulation schemes for short-range optical communications,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron.16(5), 1280–1289 (2010). [CrossRef]
  6. C. M. Okonkwo, E. Tangdiongga, H. Yang, D. Visani, S. Loquai, R. Kruglov, B. Charbonnier, M. Ouzzif, I. Greiss, O. Ziemann, R. Gaudino, and A. M. J. Koonen, “Recent Results from the EU POF-PLUS Project: Multi-Gigabit Transmission over 1 mm Core Diameter Plastic Optical Fibers,” J. Lightwave Technol.29(2), 186–193 (2011). [CrossRef]
  7. E. Tangdiongga, C. M. Okonkwo, Y. Shi, D. Visani, H. Yang, H. P. A. van den Boom, and A. M. J. Koonen, “High-speed short-range transmission over POF,” in Proc. of Optical Fiber Communication Conf. and National Fiber Optic Engineers Conf., paper OWS5 (2011).
  8. A. M. J. Koonen, H. P. A. van den Boom, E. Tangdiongga, H.-D. Jung, and P. Guignard, “Designing in-building optical fiber networks,” in Proc. of Optical Fiber Communication Conf. and National Fiber Optic Engineers Conf., San Diego, paper JThA46 (2010).
  9. B. Lannoo, K. Casier, M. Gheeraert, J. Van Ooteghem, S. Verbrugge, D. Colle, M. Pickavet, and P. Demeester, “Selecting the most suitable next-generation in-building network: from copper-based to optical solutions,” in Proc. 13th Internat. Conf. on Transparent Optical Networks, Stockholm, paper Tu.C5.5 (2011).
  10. A. M. J. Koonen, H. P. A. van den Boom, H. Yang, C. Okonkwo, Y. Shi, S. T. Abraha, E. Ortego Martinez, and E. Tangdiongga, “Converged in-building networks using POF – economics and advanced techniques,” in Proc. 19th Internat. Conf. on Plastic Optical Fibers, Yokohama (2010).
  11. European FP7 project ALPHA - Architectures for fLexible Photonic Home and Access networks, http://www.ict-alpha.eu/ .

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